Jolyon Palmer says there was nothing he could do to prevent his accident on the first lap after the safety car unleashed the F1 field at Monaco.
The Renault driver, still smarting after a trip into the barriers in first practice on Thursday cut short his preparation, was looking to make up early ground once racing started, but instead found himself in the escape road at Ste Devote having already made heavy contact with the barriers on the start finish straight.
“The traction was appalling after the safety car and I got caught out,” the Briton, who had lined up 18th on the grid, explained, “I had wheelspin in fifth gear on the white line that crosses the track and there was nothing I could do – I was just a passenger and went straight away into the wall.”
Although he was unhurt in the incident, Palmer's pride was dented as his tough F1 baptism continued. A former Monaco winner in GP2, he had also escaped a spin at the Swimming Pool section in FP2 on Thursday, and admitted that he had not enjoyed his return to the Principality as a grand prix driver.
“I'm disappointed as I love this track and it's been good for me in the past,” he sighed, “[The DNF] is so difficult to take as we know that the white lines are slippery, but they are everywhere here. Monaco hasn't been good to me this year, so we need to move on to the next race and look for a better weekend. I'm looking forward to Canada and putting this weekend behind me.”
The early exit will no doubt add grist to the rumour mill that suggests Palmer's time in the top flight might be fleeting but, for now, team boss Fred Vasseur appears to accept that the Briton was hapless on this occasion.
“It was a tough weekend for both cars, and Jolyon's race ended on the straight as soon as the race got underway,” the Frenchman concluded, “He had a pretty serious shunt, a fast one, and that put an end to his day; there was nothing to be done.”